Schlocktoberfest II – Day 15: Deadly Friend

Deadly Friend (1986)


*Spoilers Throughout*

What’s It About: College-bound tech genius Paul, his mother and “BB” Paul’s robot move into a new town. They quickly meet neighbors Tom and Samantha (Kristy Swanson). Sam lives next door with her very abusive father. Paul and Sam become close and share a lot of time with BB. Another neighbor is recluse and psychopath Elvira Parker (Anne Ramsey) who will not hesitate to exercise her second amendment rights if anyone even dares to come too close to her Masterlocked chain-link fence around her yard. On Halloween night Tom, Paul, Sam and BB play a prank on Elvira by having BB pick the lock and Sam rings the doorbell. While botching Sam’s escape, BB tries to protect her and gets a few shotgun blasts in him and is destroyed.

Happy Birthday Paulie!

Paul is heartbroken but keeps BB’s CPU “brain” chip. In another tragic turn of events Sam is accidentally killed by her father when he hits her and she falls down the stairs breaking her neck. While she’s in a coma, Paul and Tom learn that they will pull Sam’s life support the next day. The two friends then plan to drug Paul’s mom so she passes out and they are able to take her van to the hospital. Paul takes Sam’s body and in his lab he places BB’s CPU into Sam’s brain and revives her. So this basically is a modern, robotic Frankenstein story.

All is not well though and Sam starts seeking revenge, killing her father and Elvira. Totally unstable, Paul tries to maintain Sam but Tom, racked with guilt, confronts Paul and the two friends fight. Sam attacks Tom and Paul’s mother and flees when the police arrive. Paul chases after Sam along with the police. Paul is attacked by a local thug who BB defended Paul from earlier in the film. Sam comes to Paul’s rescue and throws the thug into a police squad car, killing him. Cornered, Sam is gunned down by police while Paul watches in vain.

Is It Actually Scary: Last year we reviewed Chopping Mall which we erroneously thought was about a serial killer in a shopping mall (waaaay better premise) but it was actually about the rampage of the mall’s robotic security team. This film features a yellow robot that closely resembles Johnny 5 with the very scary name of “BB.” He is voiced by Charles Fleischer who is famous as the voice of Roger Rabbit. BB basically cannot talk save for the high-pitched BB he says over and over again. I kept thinking Twiki from Buck Rogers. It takes about 15 minutes before I was sick of hearing this BB sound. (to make matters worse the end credit’s music features a chorus of the BB sound…quite ridiculous) Anyway, who thinks robots are scary? Even in the 80s when robots were everywhere, why would Hollywood think that a horror movie featuring a robot would be a great idea. When Sam is reanimated with BB’s brain it becomes more of a horror premise of her killing a few people but it’s in no way scary at all. BB!

Best Moment: Watch this:

(Strangely enough, both Chopping Mall and Deadly Friend both feature a great head explosion.)

How Much Gore: Quite a bit. Besides the Mama Fratelli basketball to the head explosion, Sam has a nightmare where her father is confronting her in her bed. She takes a slender vase, breaks it and stabs him in the gut with it. The vase acts like a tap and a ridiculous amount of blood shoots all over the bed and Sam.

Dumb Moments: I mentioned the whole dumb idea behind BB earlier so I won’t rehash that, however, you have to see the most awkward basketball game played in the history of cinema between Paul, Sam, Tom and BB. Its downright laughable how bad they are playing. BB plays better than them. The other thing that bugged me was that when Sam, as BB, possessed super-human strength like BB. BB had metal claws and hydraulic pistons giving him strength over humans. But just because Sam has BB’s AI chip doesn’t mean she has his strength too. She also struggled with her vision, wavering between BB’s pixelated view and a normal human eye. Again dumb idea.


Any Nudity: Zip.

Overall: Sadly this movie made me realize that I think Wes Craven is not a great director as much as I thought he was. Looking at this terribly made film as well as his past filmography, I have concluded that he has made way more bad movies than good. A Nightmare on Elm Street is brilliant in its concept and production. It gave us the most iconic and fun villain in the 80s. But Serpent and the Rainbow? Swamp Thing? The People Under the Stairs? Shocker? A Vampire IN BROOKLYN? All garbage!! (well Swamp Thing is kinda schlocky fun but most people would not agree) Thanks for Freddy Wes but you can keep the rest.

I would not recommend Deadly Friend to anyone, not even fans of Kristy Swanson. The actors who play Paul and Tom are really bad. The film is slow and the quality looks like an after-school special from the 1982. The best part is the basketball scene and that you can easily see on Youtube.

Score: 3.5 (out of 10)

8 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest II – Day 15: Deadly Friend

  1. It’s just so ponderous that Craven made this garbage AFTER Nightmare on Elm Street was a bona fide hit. Between Nightmare and New Nightmare he made such poorly made movies.


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  4. For those of you who are condemning Wes Craven for making this movie, it turns out that even Wes Craven himself disowned the film. His vision was to make a PG rated love story that wasn’t supposed to be a horror film. It wasn’t supposed to have gore or violence in it. The last scene of the movie where Sam turns into a robot and kills Paul was the idea of the studio President. The studio, (I forget which one produced this film, was it WB?) practically put a gun to Wes Craven’s head and forced him to make sweeping changes to his original cut of the movie, which apparently did poorly at test screenings because nobody wanted to watch a love story from the director of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Its a shame that Wes Craven went to his grave with this blemish on his film career resume.

    Liked by 1 person

    • His resume is full of blemishes: My Soul to Take, Red Eye, Cursed, Scream 4, Scream 3, Scream 2, Vampire in Brooklyn, The People Under the Stairs, Shocker, Swamp Thing, and Deadly Blessing. Let’s face it, he wasn’t a great director. He gave us Freddy and for that we are eternally grateful but he made a lot of stinkers.


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